When I read this passage, the first thing that comes to my mind is the response of the disciples. They ask Jesus what sin did this man’s parents commit. There are some of people who ask this question today.
Isaiah predicted that in messianic times various “signs” would take place. He states that the Messiah would “open eyes that are blind.” Note the following verse:
Isaiah 42:7 (KJV)
(7) “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
Compare this verse with the following:
Jesus healed the blind.
John 9:1 (KJV)
(1) “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.”
Jesus was in Jerusalem at this time. The man He saw at congenital blindness. Jesus’ decision to heal this man is significant. Note John 5:5-6. He shows His sovereignty in His works. This man’s blindness from birth showed his hopelessness. This also reveals man’s spiritual blindness from birth. Note the following scriptures:
John 9:2-3 (KJV)
(2) “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (3) Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
The disciples face a theological problem. They believe that sin has a direct result on suffering. How could a person be born with a handicap? Either he sinned, or his parents sinned. Did he sin in his mother’s womb? Jesus deals with this in the upcoming verses.
Did his parents sin? http://ref.ly/Ex20.5 Jesus said neither one of them sinned. It should be noted that these words do not contradict what is found in Romans 3:9-20, 23. Instead Jesus meant that this man’s blindness was not caused by some specific sin. The problem existed so that God could display His glory in the midst of what seemed to be tragedy. See http://ref.ly/Ex4.11 and http://ref.ly/2Co12.9.